Author Guest Post

Blog Tour ~ Guest Post and Giveaway, Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary

Hello fellow book addicts it is now a month to go for Christmas and I have a great, rather fragrant novella for you to add to your holiday reads. Also, a guest post by it’s author. Happy Reading. 

This Guest Post is part of the Blog Tour organised by Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources, check out her website for more stops on the tour.


Title: Heart Note

Author: Cassandra O’Leary

Genre: Romantic comedy/Holiday romance

Publication Date – 6th November 2017

​1st Novella in a new series – Standalone

Estimated Page Count – 100

Location set in: Australia

Book available at all book sellers.


Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores.

It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?

All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?

                                                     Guest Post

Now, this is a fun topic and tells us all about the interesting things author does for the stories they write.

Top 5 Things Done for the Sake of Book Research

Going hang-gliding: Truth be told, I haven’t done this yet. But I have roughly drafted a scene for a future novel where a hapless romcom heroine goes hang-gliding when she’s a teensy bit scared of heights. I’m trying to talk myself into doing this for real, so I can capture the experience in writing. I haven’t quite got back to this story yet. Not sure if I will! 

Researching how to rob a department store: In my new release romcom, Heart Note, a band of thieves are running amok in the store. I had to work out the details of the theft, including how someone could get money and merchandise out of the store without being detected too early. I worked in a department store for a few years so I had a few ideas, then I visited my local store and skulked around, watching staff. I tried not to look too obvious. 

Eating all the chocolate truffles: Truly, this was not a hardship. I wrote a novelette of 10,000 words for an anthology. My story is titled Chocolate Truffle Kiss and it’s set in a café. The fictional café sells delicious chocolate truffles that the heroine eats every day on her coffee break. This was based on an actual chocolate café in Daylesford in country Victoria, about an hour’s drive from where I live in Melbourne. I had to visit again to eat all the treats…for research. 

Almost getting arrested by MI6: This still needs to go in a book. I was travelling in London years ago with two fellow students while on an international study tour. We were wandering around by the Thames trying to follow a confusing tourist map (in the days before smartphones and Google maps) and instead of ending up at the Tate Gallery we were outside the bunker-like MI6 building. No, we didn’t see James Bond but we were asked what we were doing by black-clad armed guards. Then I had the unsettling feeling of being followed for the rest of the day as we visited the actual gallery.

Practicing murder with a dummy: Okay, this wasn’t me but a good friend of mine who writes romantic suspense. She bought herself a crash test dummy so she could test out murder scene scenarios with a life-sized model. She also tried to stuff him in the boot/trunk of a car (very difficult for a smaller female, as it turns out) and wheeled him around in a wheelchair. This friend is obviously going to be my go-to person if I have to plot a murder!

Other things I’ve researched that could potentially get me into trouble include: 

  • stock market fraud
  • how to steal chemicals from a secure warehouse
  • how smugglers have got illegal drug shipments into Australia
  • gambling addiction
  • anonymous dating sites (my husband wouldn’t be too happy about this one). 

Oh, and as a romance/romantic comedy writer I’ve had to research all sorts of risqué photos of male actors and models. For hero inspiration. This last one isn’t a hardship either! 

                                           About Cassandra O’Leary

**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.**  Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things.   In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia.  Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.

Author Social Media Links







Giveaway – Win 5 x E-copies of Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary (Open Internationall)

Blogger: Bee 🐝

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